I try very hard to speak from the heart in all my deliberations, both personal and professional. I disagree that you have to be somehow different when you're at work than when you're at home, though admittedly there are perhaps different filters through which to process your words. But the source of your words — the heart — should be the same.

So what do I mean by speaking from the heart? Do I mean you should be blunt or abrupt and always “tell it like it is?” Do I mean you should tell the truth no matter what pain it might cause? No, that's not my message. Here are Heartspoken Action Steps to help ingrain the habit of speaking from the heart:

  • Before speaking, listen…and pay attention. Attentiveness is a gift we should give others freely, whether we're with them in person or on the phone.
  • Say what you mean, without beating around the bush. Hidden agendas are deceptive. Try to be a “what you see is what you get” kind of person.
  • Make kindness and thoughtfulness the well from which you draw your words.
  • If you're with someone in person, look them in the eye. Not only will you pick up cues from the other person's face, but they will sense your own sincerity.

Are there situations where you can't or shouldn't tell everything you know about something? Of course…often. That is another topic, but I only want to emphasize now that when you do speak, make it count and make it something that contributes to the connection you have with the person who is listening.

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